All our lives we have looked at those mystical pictures of Machu Picchu and wondered would we ever get to visit this magical place in Peru. Well we just returned, and words cannot describe the awesome beauty but we will try.
We were delighted to fly Lan Air and were treated to excellent service and enjoyed in business class some of the best sleeper seats we have experienced. Upon arriving in Lima we were greeted by the representatives of Orient Express and from this moment on everything was organized to perfection throughout the journey.
We stayed in Lima at the beautiful Miraflores Park Hotel. Our rooms were facing the ocean, very beautiful and comfortable in every way. The hotel is impressive and the food and service outstanding. For a couple of nights we found Lima to be an interesting city with all kinds of archaeological sights, museums and wonderful shopping.
Cuzco was our favorite place. The Hotel Monasterio is a magical place. Used to be a monastery which has been transformed into a beautiful hotel without losing it's charm. The rooms are very comfortable, some of them have oxygen piped directly into the room via the air conditioning system. Cuzco is at a very high altitude and some people will experience altitude sickness the first night, a doctor is on site to take care of any problems.
The Hiram Bingham train to Machu Picchu was a wonderful experience in true Orient Express fashion.
Machu Picchu was everything we had hoped for. You truly have a special feeling standing on the Inca ruins. The Sanctuary Lodge, located right on the site, is small but a lovely property. After a site inspection we were treated to High Tea.
After another night in Cuzco we departed for Colca Canyon. We flew into Arequipa and proceeded to drive for 3.5 h to Las Casitas de la Colca. What a surprise we had. In the middle of nowhere is this beautiful property belonging to Orient Express. In our own casitas we were surrounded by luxury and charm. As far as the hotels are concerned, it was our favorite and well worth the long drive. The excursion to Colca Canyon to see the Condors was spectacular. We were lucky enough to see many birds. One of our highlights was feeding the baby Lama's and Alpaca's, which roam across the hotel grounds freely and keep the lawns mowed.
All together we learned a lot and can hardly wait to share this firsthand experience with our clients.